SIDNEY — The Sidney Police Department is starting up a new program in 2022, and bringing back a popular program from previous years.
For youth in the area, a Public Safety Cadet Unit is being started at the Sidney Police Department.
The PSC Post is for youth from 14 to 20 years of age that have completed the 8th grade. A cadet must maintain a 2.0 GPA, have no arrests or convictions involving felonies, crimes of violence, drug offenses, or associations with any gang or criminal group.
According to Sidney Police Chief William Balling, PSC establishes partnerships with local, county, state, and federal law enforcement and other public safety agencies to form one or more PSC Units. PSC assists these agencies to provide training, practical experience, as well as national programs and events to better prepare young adults to be good citizens and make an informed decision about a career in the public safety sector. The partner agency provides the unique opportunity for Cadets to interact with public safety career professionals in the workplace to gain practical vocational experiences that better prepare them to be good citizens.
This program will give cadets some hands-on experience in the field by means of instruction and also some scenario and role playing training in things such as traffic stops, crisis intervention, firearms simulator, and more. According to Balling, the program is helpful in giving youth interaction with law enforcement so they can understand what law enforcement does and how law enforcement operates.
“It has been a goal of mine for the last couple years to establish a program for the youth interested in law enforcement or even the youth just curious about what law enforcement does. I personally believe it will also help build relationships with the youth in the community in a positive way,” Balling said.
Balling’s goal is to have the program up and running with in the first few months of the year, and to also be able to take at least one four-person team to the State Cadet/Explorer skills completion in April.
“The Skills Competition have teams do mock traffic stops, mock domestic dispute calls, crisis interventions calls, and more. These competitions are similar in nature to FCCLA and FFA skills competitions, but are based on law enforcement actions,” Balling said.
Returning to the community in 2022 is the Citizen’s Police Academy, which is slated to begin Wednesday, Feb, 23 and will run every Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 9 p.m. through April 27. The program is free to residents of Sidney, or associates of businesses or organizations within Sidney.
“This has been a very positive experience for citizens of our community and helps break down the mystery barrier between police offices and the public,” Captain Jerry Tangeman said.
According to Tangeman, the Citizen’s Police Academy is ideal for those who are curious, those who always wanted to go into law enforcement, those who follow law enforcement-related news, and ultimately those who question police behavior and even have questions or challenges for why police do what they do. The program strives to provide a deeper look into the laws, general practice, and statistics that generally the public is not privy to and can provide valuable insight to participants. On the flip side, officers also value feedback from the community.
Topics like Department Operations are covered and include tours of the Police Department, Drug Investigations and Drug Enforcement, Cyber Crime, Identity Theft, Fraud, and Scams, Law Enforcement Technology, Real Life of Police Work, Domestic Violence, Search & Seizure, Traffic Stops, Contemporary Policing Issues, Use of Force, Police K9’s, Active Shooter, Police Simulator, and Investigations & Crime Scene Management.
“Multiple officers provide presentations to give a varied experience and expertise. There are also multiple hands-on activities including the tour of the Police Department, police K9 demonstration, simulator use of force scenarios, and four hour ride alongs with dispatch and road officers,” Tangeman said.
To keep an intimate environment, the department is only accepting around 15 applications for the Citizen’s Police Academy. Applications are available at the City of Sidney website and on Facebook. Applications can also be picked up at the dispatch window at Sidney P.D at 234 W. Court St.
For more information on the Public Safety Cadet program, contact Sergeant Chris Burmeister at email@example.com. For more information about the Public Safety Cadet program, visit www.publicsafetycadets.org.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Police Department, 234 W. Court St., Sidney.